What we now term the War of the Austrian Succession was a conglomeration of related wars, two of which (the two Silesian Wars) developed directly from the death of Charles (Karl) VI, Holy Roman Emperor and leader of the Austrian branch of the house of Hapsburg, in October 1740. In the war for the Austrian succession itself, France unsuccessfully supported the claims of Prussia, Saxony and Spain to parts of the Hapsburg dominions, with the overall intent of crippling their long–standing continental enemy, Austria. The war also incorporated the trade conflict between Britain and Spain, now dubbed the War of Jenkins’s Ear, which began in October 1739; and the third of the French and Indian Wars (known as King George’s War) …
Seager, Nicholas. "War of the Austrian Succession". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 February 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1177, accessed 25 April 2015.]